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Music / ZZ Ward

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ZZ and her guitar.

A soulful singer-songwriter, ZZ Ward (born Zsuzsanna Eva Ward, June 2, 1986) makes blues-infused rock-pop songs about relationships, love and sex. Her debut album, Til the Casket Drops, has placed three singles on the radio charts: "Put the Gun Down," "365 Days" and "Last Love Song."

Ward released her second album, The Storm, in 2017.

Ward's music has been featured on a couple hit shows, including Pretty Little Liars and Awkward., as well as promos for Nashville. She's also played most of the major late night talk shows.

The Pennsylvania-born Ward also plays guitar, piano and harmonica. You can listen to her music at her YouTube channel.

Tropes found in ZZ Ward's work:

  • The Alcoholic: "Cryin' Wolf" is addressed to someone who is a drunk old fool and has many, many other issues as well. The lyrics mention his breath is reeking like whiskey, aggressive behavior, and he's stumbling all over town, drinking till he drowns.
  • Analogy Backfire: The smoldering "Blue Eyes Blind" includes the lines "Forget the truth until tomorrow/You'll be my Hughes, I'll be your Harlow." Harlow and Hughes refer to Jean Harlow and Howard Hughes; the latter "discovered" the former. If your boyfriend reminds you of Howard Hughes, might be a good idea to get away.
  • Blues Rock: A pop-ish variety.
  • Break-Up Song: Several, with different tones — "Last Love Song" is anguished, "If U Stayed" is mournful and forlorn, "365 Days" is angry and vengeful.
  • Crying Wolf: "Cryin' Wolf" is about a crummy boyfriend who has made so many promises that it's impossible to believe him. And he wants to be helped, but can't be.
  • Defenestrate and Berate: "365 Days" is a classic 'woman betrayed by a cheating man' song: clothes and possessions (including his money) thrown out a window, locks changed, etc.
    Your clothes out on the blacktop
    Scattered suits on the street
    Frames and broken pictures in the mid-September heat
  • Hip-Hop: "Cryin' Wolf" and "Criminal" both feature verses from guest rappers, while songs like "Lil' Darling" have definite hip hop influences.
  • Intercourse with You: Quite a few songs about sex. "Charlie Ain't Home" is probably the best direct example, with its lyrics about stilettos, cotton sheets and digging fingertips into her lover's back.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Put the Gun Down" is a peppy, bouncy, up-beat song that's actually a desperate, futile plea to the woman Ward knows is going to take her man.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: Obligatory Bondage Verse. "Cryin' Wolf" features a guest verse from Kendrick Lamar, which includes the line, "Don't forget about the kinkiness of playing with the cuffs".
  • Signature Headgear: Almost never seen without a fedora on stage or in music videos.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Last Love Song" is a big departure from the up-beat, sassy tracks for which she's known.
  • Title Track: 'Til The Casket Drops is the title track for the album "'Til The Casket Drops."